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Mike's Blog - Day 233

Day 1 of lockdown number 2 today.

“The Larch”, maybe I am losing the plot a little now, but wasn’t there a very silly mini documentary about “the Larch” by Monty Python?

Anyway, this one is a bit different, its Larix gmelinii var Japonica.

So, you’ll be guessing this one is from Japan. Well almost. Trouble is this one has not had a name change, it’s just not clear whether they are growing in Japan or Russia. This is because this is the ”Kurile/Kuril Larch”, and the Kurile/Kuril islands where it grows, although under Russian administration, are also under dispute as being part of Japan. This dispute has been rumbling on there since the mid 1800s. “The Kuril Island dispute”, or in Japan, “the northern territories dispute” and it continues to this day as far as I can see.

The Kurile islands are a volcanic archipelago running north east from Hokkaido in Japan to Kamchatka in Russia, over 800 miles long and made up of more than 50 islands. They separate the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific. Looks quite an amazing place, I’ll give this larch a bit more respect when I pass it by I think.

We originally got the seed for this tree from the Botanic Garden in Amsterdam when the garden was first being set up.

To the left of the picture is a much smaller tree, this we got from the Botanic Garden in Vienna. It’s the Balkan Maple, Acer hyracnum.

A beautiful day again today, warm enough for T shirts this afternoon. Claire spent most of the day yesterday digging out the soil and clearing the Borletti beans in the children’s garden.

So today was spent socially distancing another 1,000 or so tulips in there. Bill and Craig planted 500 mixed autumn crocus in the same area we had that nice display of Autumn Colchicum on Day 183.

In yesterday’s “Tropical Garden” from Harlow Carr, there was a plant we commonly grow in tubs in the garden. It’s one of the flowering sages, Salvia “Amistad”, with purple flowers and much darker calyces.

I’ve noticed that these large tubular flowers are not ideal for bees as the flower tubes are too deep. But you often see them sneaking a sip of nectar by cutting a small hole at the base of the flower. You can see if you look carefully the small hole in the base of the flower at the top of the spike.